Chelsea Hotel room doors of Bob Marley and Andy Warhol go under the hammer

Guernseys will be auctioning off up to 55 hotel room doors from the Chelsea Hotel, where artists and musicians such as Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan frequently stayed in its heyday

More than 50 doors that used to lead to rooms occupied by legends such as Andy Warhol, Janis Joplin, Bob Marley and Jack Kerouac at New Yorks famously seedy Chelsea Hotel are to be auctioned off next month.

Guernseys Auction House in New York has announced that on 12 April, it will conduct what will undoubtedly be a nostalgic sale of the items, salvaged from the street after the hotel was closed in 2011 for an overhaul that remains incomplete.

The hotel in Manhattan, often referred to as the Hotel Chelsea, was built between 1883 and 1885 and was known to have inspired the work of prominent writers, musicians and actors. It was where Arthur C Clarke penned the screenplay for 2001: A Space Odyssey and Jack Kerouac wrote his novel On the Road. The Welsh poet Dylan Thomas collapsed there in 1953 the day after an epic drinking session at the still-standing White Horse pub nearby. He was rushed to a hospital around the corner but died, probably, it was later discovered, from pneumonia.

Perhaps most infamously in Chelsea Hotel lore, Nancy Spungen was found stabbed to death in 1978 in room 100, which she shared with the Sex Pistols bass player Sid Vicious. The hotel, and an affair with Janis Joplin, is referenced most indiscreetly in Leonard Cohens song Chelsea Hotel No 2. It was a veritable whos who of bohemians and punks in its heyday and an epochal time for New York. Many rented rooms long term, such as Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe when they were penniless artists starting out. It was designated a city landmark in 1966. The Chelsea was sold for $250m in 2016 to a group of investors led by BD Hotels Richard Born and Ira Drukier.

A portion of the proceeds from the auction will benefit City Harvest, a non-profit that collects excess food and produce from New York City restaurants and distributes them to community food programs. Among other hotel doors set to be auctioned off are those to rooms once occupied by Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Jackson Pollock and Jim Morrison.

The
The hotel room door of Jimi Hendrix, who often stayed at the Chelsea Hotel in the 1960s. Photograph: Guernsey’s

For more than a century, the Chelsea attracted the most fascinating, accomplished individuals who often found themselves living on the edge at the fabled residential hotel, reads the Guernseys website, which goes on to explain that former tenant Jim Georgiou acquired the doors after the hotel shut down for renovations beginning in the summer of 2011. Now undergoing an extensive facelift, the hotel may never again be the place to be seen or the setting for the wildest affairs, but memories of the Chelsea will live on in popular culture.

Having lived at the hotel from 2002 until renovations began, Georgiou found himself homeless after he could not pay his rent and was evicted. When construction workers disposed of the old hotel doors on the street, Georgiou began collecting them.

My first impulse was to preserve them because of how much the Chelsea meant to me, he told Artnet. They remind me of the incredible life I had there, and of all the lives of the people who have called the Chelsea Hotel home too.

The auction house website states: Through exhaustive research, roughly half of these large wooden doors can be traced to the iconic individuals who lived behind them. And although the research is continuing, it is expected that some doors can only be confirmed to be from the Hotel without a more precise personal connection.

The doors, for which bidding will begin at $5,000, will be on display at Chelseas Ricco/Maresca Gallery from 5 April until the evening of the auction. The Chelsea Hotel itself is set to reopen its doors in early 2019.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us

Marissa SafontChelsea Hotel room doors of Bob Marley and Andy Warhol go under the hammer

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